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Working from home in pajamas could be bad for mental health, though might not harm productivity — study

Hanging out in pajamas while working from home doesn’t harm productivity, but failing to get dressed could be bad for your mental health, scientific research suggests.

Since home working became the new normal, it can be all too tempting to stay snuggled up in pajamas rather than jumping into office-appropriate clothing to start the day. But while it’s easy to assume that workers who don’t bother to get dressed must be lazy, scientific research suggests that spending all day in pajamas doesn’t harm productivity.

Scientists in Australia studied the matter by surveying staff from five research centers, including both administrative staff and researchers, working from home during the first period of COVID-19 restrictions in spring 2020.

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Their study found that 41% of respondents reported experiencing increased productivity while working from home, irrespective of their clothing choices. However, many home workers found that their productivity was hindered by having to deal with young children, who were also stuck at home while schools were closed.

Watch out for your mental health 

But beware: while wearing pajamas may not affect productivity, it might make you feel depressed.

In fact, while they might be no less productive than other employees, more participants who wore pajamas during the day at least one day a week reported that their mental health had declined while working from home (59% versus 26%).

For anyone hoping to get around that by slipping into sweatpants and socks or homewear, be warned, this getup could have the same effect on your mental health as pajamas.

So, the moral of the story is: when working from home, it’s better just to get dressed, in your regular clothes. Your mental health will thank you for it. JB

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